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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are your feet at risk in the water??



Click on the Podcast above and enjoy:)



Are your feet at risk in the water? We mean in the ocean: In honor of shark week last week 2 Pods & A Microphone investigate if our fears at the beach are substantiated.  And who better to ask these in depth questions to than a 3 year old, 8 year old and a 9 year old shark and surfing expert.
This week’s podcast has been inspired truly by two different events for us.  One of course in honor of SHARK WEEK on the Discovery Channel and our recent vacation as a family to Hawaii in July.  Now we are a Florida family, and the ocean is not foreign to us, but while in Kauai we found ourselves partaking in several water sports in the ocean, in fact, I would say we spent 75% of our vacation in the Pacific Ocean more than anything else.   
We enjoyed surfing, boogie boarding and swimming.  Yes we did our fair share of sand castle building and making kids into sand mermaids but you don’t have to worry about LandsharksJ
When we returned to Florida, after catching up with work, life and house cleaning we were happy to see one of our favorite family pastimes of SHARK WEEK on last week.  Our 9 year old daughter may be the mini version of a shark expert.  Since she was 3 years old, she has been into sharks and makes us every year go to the Shark Tooth Festival in Venice Beach, Florida.  So who better to ask questions about sharks, the water and our risk in the ocean?  Her younger sisters chime in as well and help put the pieces together and maybe unmask our unwarranted fears of these mysterious creatures.  (But I would like to preface this whole discussion with the fact, that I saw the 1st JAWS movie when I was like 5 or 6 years old.  So I possess a very unhealthy fear of sharks and until I had kids who liked the ocean. I had not gone past knee deep water until I was about 38 years old.  I just wanted to come clean so that you know that I am certainly not the brave one of the family.)
We are podiatrists, so we are not going into the animal science and differentiation of provoked and unprovoked shark attacks, that is clearly for the experts to discuss.  We are going to discuss the normal people perspectives of common fallacies like where shark attacks commonly occur, what body parts are most involved in these attacks; do most people walk away or do they end up being fatal? We will look at the incidence of surviving common problems in our home state like alligator encounters, sink holes and dog attacks compare to fatal shark attacks. 
·         We start our pod cast off by asking the kids about what they think their risk is close to the shore for a shark attack.  The kids all think chances of being bit by a shark is very low closer to the shore.  Actually, surprisingly, one of our friends who is a physician and went on our vacation to Hawaii with us also had the same belief as our small children, that shark attacks are more likely way out farther away from the shore.  The reality is that most shark attacks occur less than 100 feet from the shore mainly around popular beaches in North America (especially Florida and Hawaii), Australia, and South Africa
·         We then spoke with the kids about if they think more people are attacked by alligators or sharks here in Florida and the number of fatalities between the two. Below you will see the alligator attacks are more fatal per attack than shark attacks. (Great now I am staying away from the lakes too)
A Comparison of Shark Attacks and Fatalities with the American Alligator
(Alligator mississippiensis) Attacks and Fatalities in the U.S.: 1948-2005
State
Number of
Alligator
Attacks
Number of
Alligator
Fatalities
Number of
Shark
Attacks
Number of
Shark Attack
Fatalities
Alabama1
5
0
5
0
Florida2
351
17
509
8
Georgia 3
9
1
8
0
South Carolina4
9
0
38
0
Louisiana5
2
0
2
0
Texas6
15
0
30
1


TOTALS
391
18
592
9
Copyright International Shark Attack File

FATALITY RATE:
ALLIGATOR ATTACKS = 4.3%
SHARK ATTACKS = 1.5%

1Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
2Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
3Georgia Department of Natural Resources
4South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
5University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Wildlife Damage Management
6Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Source of shark attack data: International Shark Attack File, March 28, 2006.

© International Shark Attack File
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

·        

Next we asked the kids about dog attacks vs shark attacks.  Our kids were confused because they just don’t think of dogs as viscous dangerous animals. They were in shock and I believe they will never look at our dogs the same way again! 

Comparison of Shark Attack Fatalities
with Dog Attack Fatalities in the U.S.: 2001-2010

Year
Number of Dog Attack Fatalities
Number of Shark Attack Fatalities
2001
23
3
2002
15
0
2003
25
1
2004
22
2
2005
28
1
2006
31
0
2007
31
0
2008
23
1
2009
32
0
2010
33
2
2011
31
0
2012
38
1
2013
32
0


Total
364
11

Source of fatal dog attack statistics: National Canine Research Foundation/www.dogbitelaw.com and www.dogsbite.org

Source of shark attack data: International Shark Attack File, June 9, 2014.

© International Shark Attack File
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

·         Finally, for fun, we wanted to look at another Florida threat, SINKHOLES. Have sharks killed more people than sinkholes in the past? The numbers may surprise you. By the way, our kids had no clue what a sinkhole wasJ
Sand Hole Collapse Fatalities Compared To
Shark Attack Fatalities in the U.S.: 1990-2006
Incident
Number of Fatalities
Sand Hole Collapse1
16
Shark Attack 2
11

Source of sand hole data:
1Dr. Bradley Maron, The New England Journal of Medicine (June 2007)

Source of shark attack data:
2International Shark Attack File (August 2008)





Ok, so again podiatrist and live in Florida, so I guess our morbid obsession of sharks and attacks comes from the large percentage of people who do not die but suffer horrible wounds to the lower extremity below the knee, which is our area of expertise.  I found a table that had all of the reported cases of shark attacks world wide on http://sharkattackfile.infoNext, I separated all of the shark attacks in Florida since March 2014 that happened in Florida up until middle of August 2014 that were on a limb and have included that below.  14 of the attacks as of August 9th, 2014 in Florida were on a lower limb, but 2 more nonfatal attacks have occurred since I put this chart together in the last two weeks.  Of the 14 attacks on the lower extremity, 14 of them were all doing something we did on our vacation in Hawaii or we frequently do when we visit Cocoa Beach, which incidentally, was where the most recent attack on my chart was.

Date of attack
sex
Age
country
State
beach
activity
injury
9-Aug-14
F
10
USA
Florida
Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach, Brevard County
Swimming
Puncture wounds to right foot & ankle
2-Aug-14
M
8
USA
Florida
Table Beach, Brevard County
Boogie boarding
Laceration to ankle
21-Jul-14
M
8
USA
Florida
Indialantic, Brevard County
Standing
Lacerations to right knee
14-Jul-14
M
39
USA
Florida
Okaloosa Island
Swimming
Puncture wounds to foot
9-Jul-14
M
14
USA
Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County
Surfing
Lacerations to foot
1-Jun-14
F
22
USA
Florida
Fort Lauderdale
Swimming
Laceration to right lower leg
15-May-14
F
38
USA
Florida
Juan Ponce de León Landing, Melbourne Beach, Brevard County
Body boarding
Calf bitten
13-May-14
F
44
USA
Florida
Jacksonville Beach, Duval County
Wading
Lacerations and puncture wounds to right foot
10-May-14
M

USA
Florida
Bethel Shoals, Indian River County
Diving
No injury. No attack. Shark appears curious not aggressive but only departed when prodded by spear
1-May-14
M
23
USA
Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County
Surfing
Laceration to right hand and cuts on fingertips
22-Apr-14
M
42
USA
Florida
Cocoa Beach, Brevard County
Swimming
Laceration & puncture wounds to right foot
15-Apr-14
M
25
USA
Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County
Surfing
Minor cut on foot
4-Apr-14
M

USA
Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County
Surfing
Minor puncture wounds to lower left leg
4-Apr-14
M

USA
Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County
Surfing
Lacerations to foot
22-Mar-14
M

USA
Florida
Delray Beach
Kite Surfing
Lacerations to left forearm
21-Mar-14
M
9
USA
Florida
Macarthur State Park
Surfing
Lacerations to toes and heel of right foot
2-Mar-14
M
21
USA
Florida
Santa Lucea Beach, South Hutchinson Island, St. Lucie County
Surfing
Lacerations to toes


Sharks teeth are razor sharp and can do a lot of damage when digging into an extremity.  Surgery to repair this really revolves around flushing the wound out and dealing with the tissue you have to try and re-approximate it to the best you can.  Depending on how big the shark bite is, type of shark that is doing the biting and how long it takes for the individual who has been bitten to get care can greatly affect the overall outcome of limb salvage.  Many times plastic surgery techniques and flaps may be needed to cover large soft tissue deficits.  Many lower extremity foot and ankle podiatric surgeons learn these techniques in their 3 year surgical residency programs.  (Tim and I give a special shout out here to Douglas Newton, MD an amazing Plastic surgeon who we had the honor to train under during our plastics rotation at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA). 

So for me, the take home message is mixed.  Fatal shark attacks from 2001 until 2013, there have only been 11 fatal shark attacks in Florida, but there have been 687 shark attacks total in Florida and 257 of them have been in Volusia County and 114 have been in Brevard County.  These two counties are where our oldest daughter says the “Best Waves” are.  I guess my take home message is bowling is a much safe sport than surfing, but I’m sure there could be statistics that could prove me wrongJ Below is the chart on shark attacks by county in Florida, again bowling seems like a safe alternative. Also below this chart are some shark attack facts for you to peruse.


Territory
Total
Attacks
Fatal
Attacks
Last
Fatality
Volusia
257
0

Brevard
114
1
1934
Palm Beach
64
0

St. Johns
34
0

Martin
33
1
2010
St. Lucie
29
0

Duval
26
2
1976
Florida Keys
18
0
Indian River
18
1
1998
Pinellas
12
2
2000
Miami-Dade
14
1
1961
Broward
11
1
2001
Bay
8
1
1988
Collier
7
0

Sarasota
7
0

Lee
7
0

Escambia
6
0

Flagler
5
0

Manatee
4
0

Nassau
3
0

Franklin
2
0

Okaloosa
2
0

Santa Rosa
1
0
Walton
1
1
2005
Gulf
1
0

Charlotte
1
0

Monroe
1
0

Unspecified
1
0
FLORIDA
687
11
2010




red 51 and above


red 26 - 50


blue 11 - 25


green 1 - 10


none 0

Last updated: February 18, 2014
© International Shark Attack File
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

 

 

SHARK ATTACK FACTS

·         93% of shark attacks from 1580 to 2010 worldwide were on males.

·         In 2010, North American Waters had 42% of all confirmed unprovoked attacks worldwide (32 attacks).

·         Surfers accounted for 50.8% of all attacks in 2010.

·         Swimmers and Waders accounted for 38% of all attacks in 2010.

·         Snorkelers and divers accounted for 8% of all attacks in 2010.

·         Inflatable rafts/inner tubes accounted for 3% of attacks in 2010.

·         2010 was the most dangerous year for unprovoked shark attacks in a decade with 79.

·         Over the last half-century, there have been more unprovoked shark attacks in Florida (27 out of a total 139) between 2-3 pm than any other time of the day.

·         New Smyrna Beach in Florida is the shark attack capital of the world according to ISAF. It is estimated that anyone who has swam there has been within 10ft of a shark.

·         September is the month with the most Shark attacks in Florida (93) 1920-2010.

·         Since 1907 201 out 220 Great White Attacks have occurred when the human was less than 6ft from the surface.

·         You have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu and a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark during your lifetime.

·         Over 17,000 people die from falls each year. That’s a 1 in 218 chance over your lifetime, compared to a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark.

·         In 1996, toilets injured 43,000 Americans a year. Sharks injured 13.

·         1n 1996, buckets and pails injured almost 11,000 Americans. Sharks injured 13.

·         In 1996, 2600 Americans were injured by room fresheners. Sharks injured 13.

·         The US averages just 19 shark attacks each year and one shark-attack fatality every two years. Meanwhile, in the coastal U.S. states alone, lightning strikes and kills more than 37 people each year. 

·         Since 1959, Florida has had more shark attacks (603) than lightning fatalities (459).

·         Since 1959, California has had more shark attacks than lightning fatalities (89/30).

·         Since 1959, Hawaii has had 97 Shark attacks but no lightning fatalities.

·         Only 5 people die from shark attacks yearly, while millions of people die from starvation.

·         For SAEL: Since 1905, Natal (where Durban is) has had 89 shark attacks and 27 fatalities.

·         For every human killed by a shark, humans kill approximately two million sharks.

·         Most shark attacks occur less than 100 feet from the shore mainly around popular beaches in North America (especially Florida and Hawaii), Australia, and South Africa

·         In 2008 a Polar bear Jaw was found in a Greenland Shark’s stomach.


·         A whale shark can filter 1.5 million litres (400,000 gallons) of water an hour when feeding. That’s enough to supply 1,000 US homes for a day.

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